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Jan Leach

Director, Media Law Center for Ethics and Access / Associate Professor

Jan Leach is an associate professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Kent State University. She teaches media ethics, graduate media ethics, copy editing and other news courses and is director of Kent’s Media Law Center for Ethics and Access. She is coordinator and host of the annual Poynter KSU Media Ethics Workshop. She is an Ethics Fellow at the Poynter Institute for Journalism Studies in St. Petersburg, Fla., where she works with other media professionals to define and address ethics issues.

Before joining the faculty at Kent, Jan was editor and vice president of the Akron Beacon Journal for five years, where she was responsible for news content, coverage and design. During her tenure, the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists named the Beacon Journal “Best Newspaper in Ohio” three times.

As editor, Jan and her staff coordinated coverage of the 9/11 attacks, including publishing an “Extra” edition, explaining the war in Afghanistan and launching and promoting the “Fire Truck Fund” that raised more than $1.3 million for new safety equipment in New York City.

Jan came to Akron from the Cincinnati Enquirer where she had been managing editor for nearly five years. She also was managing editor at the Phoenix Gazette, city editor at the Arizona Republic, and held various reporting and editing positions at newspapers in Cincinnati, Findlay and Fostoria, Ohio.

She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University and a master’s degree in media ethics from Kent State. Jan wrote four chapters in the book “The Edge of Change: Women in the 21st Century Press,” published in 2009 by the University of Illinois Press. She is among those featured in the 2011 book “Good Enough is the New Perfect,” by Harlequin non-fiction and she has contributed chapters to two upcoming ethics textbooks.

She has been published in Nieman Reports, Poynter Online, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Journalism and Mass Communication Educator and elsewhere.

Jan is a member of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. Within AEJMC’s Media Ethics Division, Jan is the Teaching Standards Chair. She is also a member of the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics, the American Society of News Editors, the Society of Professional Journalists and the Akron Press Club. She is a member of the board of the Millennium Fund for Children and the Beacon Journal Charity Fund, Akron.

At Kent State, Jan is a member of the graduate studies and curriculum committees.


Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities
Research Areas
  • Media Ethics
  • Online Media Ethics
  • 4th/5th estate
Jan Leach
School of Journalism and Mass Communication

By Appointment

Phone: 330-672-4289
Fax: 330-672-4064
Spring 2014
  • JMC 26001 - 003 Multimedia Newswriting
  • JMC 40010 - 001 Ethics And Issues - Mass Comm
  • JMC 46009 - 001 Reporting Public Affairs
Summer 2014
  • JMC 40010 - 001 Ethics And Issues - Mass Comm
Fall 2014
  • JMC 36005 - 001 Copyediting
  • JMC 40010 - 002 Ethics And Issues - Mass Comm
  • JMC 46009 - 001 Reporting Public Affairs
  • JMC 56009 - 001 Reporting Public Affairs